Over 50 years ago, Ermenegildo Zegna established its inaugural “Ermenegildo Zegna Extrafine Wool Trophy” to award and incentivize woolgrowers to improve the quality of superfine Merino and has consistently worked to celebrate the importance of wool and support growers in their quest to produce the best wools in the world. This year, for the 55th edition of the prestigious program, Ermenegildo Zegna has once again honoured Australia’s best woolgrowers by awarding the “Superfine Wool Trophy” and the “Vellus Aureum Trophy” during an exclusive gala dinner hosted by Paolo Zegna, Chairman of the Group.
The relationship between Ermenegildo Zegna and Australian wool dates back to 1910 when the company began sourcing this incredible natural fiber. Still today, the inherent excellence and unique characteristics of superfine wool allows Ermenegildo Zegna to constantly evolve the beauty and performance of its products. Superfine wool has been the key to creating many of the company’s most precious fabrics and exclusive garments, especially after the first “Ermenegildo Zegna Extrafine Wool Trophy” in 1963 (the oldest wool award in the world), which was established in association with ASWGA, the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association. The “Vellus Aureum Trophy” followed almost 50 years later, when it was launched in 2002 to recognize the quest for absolute excellence by benchmarking the finest woollen fleeces in the wool production countries that measure 13.9 microns and less.
Today, the competitions are primarily intended to encourage breeders and reward their commitment to quality, and are open to Australian and New Zealand woolgrowers. The winning fleeces are judged according to a strict set of criteria including fineness, style, strength, colour and evenness. The 2017 Ermenegildo Zegna Superfine Wool Trophy was held “on invitation only” and limited to those wool farms who have demonstrated loyalty to the Zegna competitions over the past years. As per Ermenegildo Zegna policy, the best lots of wool from the top 10 finalists were purchased by Ermenegildo Zegna with a 50% premium over the market price.
The 2017 “Superfine Wool Trophy” was won by David and Angie Waters (Tarrangower Merinos – Hillgrove, NSW), while 2nd and 3rd place winners were Allan and Carolyn Phillips (Hill Creston Park – Bigga, NSW), and Ed and Jill Hundy (Windradeen Mudgee, Pyramul, NSW) respectively.
For the “Vellus Aureum Trophy”, Ross and Rebecca Blake (Allandale – Walcha, NSW) won the 1st place, David and Susan Rowbottom (Rowensville – St. Helens, VIC) won the 2nd place and Mrs. Annie Hutchinson (Kentucky Station – Kentucky NSW) were awarded the 3rd place.
These woolgrowers were awarded for the superiority of their wool production by Paolo Zegna during the celebration dinner held at Pier One Sydney Harbour, on Thursday 26th April, in the presence of Zegna’s top clients, representatives of the international press and the major institutions associated with the world of wool.
“We’ve been honouring the best quality wool for over 50 years now, and it is always a pleasure to give out these awards as a solid demonstration of our support for the commitment and successes of these incredible woolgrowers,” said Paolo Zegna, Chairman of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. “Congratulations to both the winners and each of the entrants, and deep thanks to the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association and to everyone who has contributed in making this year’s edition of the trophies a great success. Superfine wool is a fundamental material for our collections and I am confident our ability to transform it into luxurious fabrics and clothing will continue to convince clients around the world of its importance. In raising appreciation for this precious fibre, we can therefore help ensure a bright future to the wool growers who are involved with us in the process.”